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Jindal announces plan for Louisiana to back out of Common Core

Jindal announces plan for Louisiana to back out of Common Core
Office of Gov. Bobby Jindal
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 4:46pm

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Wednesday he plans to pull his state out of the Common Core academic standards, announcing an executive order aimed at blocking the testing program in the state.

At a news conference, Jindal said he's sent a letter requesting his state's withdrawal from the program to the Partnership of Assessments for College and Career Readiness (PARCC) -- a conglomerate of states developing the standards for students in the subjects of English and math.

"It's certainly no secret that I am opposed to the Common Core. It's also no secret that many parents are opposed because they're worried that the federal government in D.C. is trying to mandate education standards for their children in classrooms in Louisiana," Jindal said.

The Republican governor once supported the academic standards, signing Louisiana onto the education initiative in 2010. But Jindal has joined many fellow conservatives in opposing Common Core.

In announcing Louisiana would now back out away from the education guidelines, Jindal explained his new stance as a response to the federal government's takeover of the standards.

"Before the federal government began using Common Core to dictate policy to the states, I was initially supportive of it," Jindal said.

Unlike others governors who have withdrawn from Common Core with support from the state legislatures, Jindal is hoping to get Louisiana out of the program through executive order, as many Bayou state lawmakers support the education guidelines.

"Common Core has not been fully implemented yet in our state. We need to start this process over. It was rushed in the beginning. It was done without public input," he said.

"Now that we understand the federal overreach involved, we need to slow down, we need to make the right decision for our students."

Jindal is term-limited as Louisiana governor and is considering launching a bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

Another potential White House hopeful, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, supports Common Core. He argues the standards help prepare students for college and the workforce. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another GOP possible White House contender, is also in favor of the standards, which apply to students in kindergarten through 12th grade in the subjects of language arts/literacy and math.

Since 2010, more than 40 states have signed on to the initiative, which is sponsored in part by the National Governors Association.

A new national poll from NBC News/Wall Street Journal released Wednesday indicates 27% of Americans support the Common Core standards, with 32% saying they are somewhat in support of the program, and 31% opposed.

Jindal has ramped up is public opposition to Common Core in recently weeks, blasting the standards at a major Republican conference in New Orleans last month as a part of a broader argument for limited government conservatism and against federal overreach.

The conservative group American Principles Project applauded Jindal's move away from Common Core.

"Today, the Governor stands alongside the moms, dads, and other citizens of Louisiana who are pushing back against the federal overreach," Emmett McGroarty, the organization's director, said in a statement.

"In so doing, he has reaffirmed the Framers' intent that state government will guard the rightful interests of the state's citizens."


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